Breaking down barriers: hospice palliative care as a human right in Canada

Freeman, Shannon; Heckman, George; Naus, Peter J. and Marston, Hannah R. (2013). Breaking down barriers: hospice palliative care as a human right in Canada. Educational Gerontology, 39(4) pp. 241–249.



The need to attend to terminally ill persons and provide improved quality of living and dying should be a national priority in Canada. Hospice palliative care (HPC), a person-centered approach that addresses the needs of the whole person, improves the quality of living and dying of persons facing a life-threatening illness. To ensure Canadians are able to benefit from HPC, we propose that it should be enshrined as a human right in Canada with access guaranteed to all terminally ill persons under the Canada Health Act (CHA). This paper describes numerous barriers that currently exist including, but not limited to, barriers from geographic location, prognosis, ageism, and constraints from the Canadian medical system that have resulted in unequal access to of a patchwork of services. This paper proposes if HPC is formally recognized as a human right, then financial allocation specifically for HPC will require provincial governments to address the substantial inequalities in access to HPC.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 42182
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • Extra Information
  • Special Issue: Social Policy-An Engine for Change in Research and Practice Modalities
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2013 Taylor & Francis
  • Depositing User
  • Hannah Marston